Graham Williamson’s review published on Letterboxd:
The film's still a solid 4.5, I think - not as jaw-droppingly original as the two films Refn made before it, but hugely enjoyable, influential (if the trailers for Nightcrawler are any indication) and bringing the correct dose of noir fatalism back to the modern crime thriller. Inspired casting, particularly Albert Brooks and Carey Mulligan, rock-solid set pieces, and that bit in the lift which moves the whole story forward so much in one wordless action scene. What more do you want?
What you want, apparently, is a version re-scored by Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and his current favourites Chvrches, SBTRKT, Laura Mvula, The 1975 and Bring Me The Horizon, among others. Despite Drive's soundtrack achieving a deserved iconic status, I didn't think this was the blasphemy many people thought it was. Re-scoring films is an accepted practice among silent film fans, and it seemed like a worthwhile experiment to do it for a recent film that many people will be familiar with the original score of.
Nothing's terrible here, though the track played over the scene where Ryan Gosling and Christina Hendricks speed away from the motel is pretty ill-fitting. The problem is that it's pointless. Drive is a modish film, and Zane Lowe is a man seemingly incapable of expressing admiration for a band who formed more than two years ago, so what we've got here is a new score and an old score drawing from the same zeitgeist. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the bands on this soundtrack were specifically influenced by Cliff Martinez, Kavinsky and the other artists on Refn's original soundtrack.
So what we end up with is an exciting new version of Drive scored with ambient synth washes and pulsing '80s electro. You know, a version of Drive that's pretty much indistinguishable from the one that already exists. I like the idea of these BBC re-scores, and I hope this experiment was a ratings success that prompts them to do more. But next time let's push the boat out a bit more, eh? Radio 3 re-score Transformers: Age of Extinction, that's what I want.